There will be no high school baseball showcase at Harrisburg’s FNB Field this year.
The Big 26 Baseball Classic, held annually every summer for high school seniors and juniors in Pennsylvania and Maryland, was cancelled for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority announced Thursday morning.
The cancellation comes three months to the day before the three-game series was set to begin. The Big 26 was schedule for July 23-26.
“Big 26 Baseball strives to give high school players, challenger participants and fans an exceptional and unique baseball experience each summer. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties before us, meeting those expectations and the high standards we hold for the event will not be possible. While the decision is hard on our hearts, it is made with the health and safety of everyone involved as our top priority,” HHSE Executive Director Gregg Cook said in the press release.
To our Big 26 Friends & Family: Today we announce with great sadness that the 2020 Big 26 Baseball Classic & Buddy Program will be canceled. Please take a moment to read the full message below. All tryout refunds will be processed automatically. pic.twitter.com/gGq9q3iXsL— Big 26 Baseball Classic® (@Big26Baseball) April 23, 2020
Registration to try out for either team opened in early March, just before COVID-19 rapidly began shutting down local and national sports. The press release said any player who already paid their registration fee will be automatically refunded. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
The Buddy Program, which coincides with Big 26, was also cancelled.
“We are all saddened that players and staff will be unable to share the field with the incredible special needs athletes who touch our hearts each summer,” Cook said. “We know many of the challenger athletes stay in touch with players and we look forward to following their connections and friendships through social media and through future alumni gatherings.”
The Big 33 Football Classic and East-West All-Star Game were cancelled April 14 after several weeks of contemplation. That came five days after the PIAA shut down the remaining winter state championships and the entire spring season.
Minor league action for the AHL’s Hershey Bears and Eastern League’s Harrisburg Senators, whose home field would have been the site of this year’s Big 26 series once again, is also suspended.
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